To assuage the fears of the locals and the Tamil Nadu government, the Centre on Thursday announced setting up of a 15-member group of experts over the Kudankulam nuclear plant project.
"We have set up a 15-member group of experts," officials said in New Delhi.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had on Wednesday night said that the committee promised by him to convince stakeholders in the Kudankulam nuclear power project would be set up on Thursday.
The group of experts from various disciplines such as radiation safety, reactor safety, oncology, fisheries and nuclear waste management will interact with the local population in and around Kudanakulam where two 1000 MW nuclear power plants built with Russian collaboration are in advanced stages of completion.
The project has run into a rash of protests as it approaches final stages of commissioning with concerns being raised over environmental impact and fears of radiation fears in the wake of the Fukushima accident in Japan.
Dr Singh had regretted that his letter to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on the subject had not reached her, an issue on which she had criticised him.
"Well I am sorry. I have seen that comment," he had said when pointed out that Jayalalithaa had stated that she had not received any letter from the Prime Minister about which she had read in newspapers.
At the same time, he had said, "I do feel that we can give reasonable satisfaction to all the stakeholders who are worried about the safety of the atomic energy plant at Kudankulam."
Blaming the Centre's "inaction" for the stalemate over the plant issue, Jayalalithaa had said that her government was firm on suspension of the work on the controversial project till people's concerns were addressed.
The members of the group are as follows:
Dr A EMuthunayagam vice-chancellor,Nurul Islam University (Mechanical Engg Environmental Science/Oceanography), Dr M R Iyer retired director, Division of Radiation Safety, IAEA,(Radiation Safety) Prof M N Madhyastha retired professor, Mangalore University, (thermal ecology), Prof N Sukumaran director, School of Life Sciences VELS University (Fisheries), Dr A K Pal professor, Central Institute of Fisheries Education, Dr V Shantha chairperson, AdyarCancer Institute (oncologist), Dr C S Pramesh, associstaed professor and Surgeon Tata Memorial Hospital (Oncologist/Surgeon), Harsh K Gupta Panikkar, professor, NGRI, Hyderabad (Seismology), Prof Kannan Iyer IIT, Bombay Mechanical Engineering (Safety Research), Prof D V R Murthy,IIT, Madras Mechanical Engineering (Safety Research), S K Mehta, retd director, Reactor Group, BARC Nuclear Reactor,(Design) S K Sharma former chairman, AERB (Nuclear Regulatory aspects), K Balu retd director, Nuclear Waste Management Group, BARC, (Nuclear Waste Management), S M Lee Raja Ramanna, fellow,Safety Research Institute, Kalpakkam (Reactor Safety) and W StephenAruldoss Kanthiah retd director (Operations), Heavy Water Board.